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Staff Preview for the 2024 Competition Season

Updated: Jan 8

We gave our staff a few prompts to answer on the upcoming competition season starting this weekend! Here is what they think you could expect in 2024!

Most Anticipated Competition:

Owen Miller - Wheaton Warrenville South Choral Classic: This competition is absolutely stacked with groups coming from all over the country to compete here. With their new finals layout of 4 mixed groups and 3 girls groups, finals won’t be a sure thing for anyone at this competition. No group outside of the Midwest has won this competition, but if anyone can, it would be Los Alamitos. But even so, they wouldn’t have anything guaranteed at this competition with Center Grove, Mitchell, Zionsville, Mt. Zion, and Broken Arrow all coming for that crown. This is THE competition to watch this season, do not miss it.

William Soquet - Much of the Southern attention gets thrown towards Clinton and all of the national competitions that happen in Nashville and Orlando, but Jackson Academy’s Show Choir Invitational will be the regional contest to watch this year. Homewood, Grenada, Madison Central and Tupelo are among the confirmed big hitters that will be in attendance. Those five alone would be a fantastic finals field, and that’s not counting anybody who hasn’t said they’re going yet. Combine that with an early test of Mississippi’s new “super-large” division, and it’s a competition that will probably be remembered for years to come.

Nathan Ensley - While many eyes will be focused on Wheaton Warrenville South, and for good reason, the Franklin Central Show Choir Classic is my most anticipated competition. Franklin Central will feature performances from all of Indiana’s “Big Three,” Center Grove, Franklin Central, and Carmel. The mixed groups from the Big Three have not lost to a group outside of the Big Three since 2020. That is three straight seasons of dominance over the Midwest. Moreover, Franklin Central will feature a solid slate of secondary groups at their competition, including both Fishers and Brownsburg. And, while Fishers’ mixed group, Electrum, has failed to find victories over the Big Three in recent years, their all-girls group, Sound, has. In 2022, Sound went undefeated, defeating the Carmel Accents, Center Grove Debtones, and FC High Voltage for those honors. However, at this event last year, Carmel and CG struck back, forcing Fishers to settle for third. With FC's dramatic introductions featuring intense smoke and a huge screen as well as NINE finalist spots, this will surely be one of the great competitions of the year.

Simon Zimmerman - While many of the big ticket competitions are towards the end of the season, my pick for most anticipated is Winfield’s Emerald Classic at the end of January. This competition will truly have it all for Ohio and West Virginia show choir fans: big Ohio groups like Marysville and Ross making their debuts, plenty of successful small groups from Ohio and West Virginia (including St. Clairsville and Edgewood from Ohio and Nitro and Poca from West Virginia). In addition, Ripley, a West Virginia program that hasn’t competed since 2004, will be making their return to the scene, which is always exciting. All in all, this promises to be a great competition to start the season for Ohio and West Virginia fans.

Jim Patton-  I see Pike Music Fest as an early indicator of where groups will be this season. I know that it is an early comp but in general, and it is the first time that the Indiana powerhouses are going to lock horns. With five spots in finals, this competition offers many opportunities for groups that may not be as competitive to get some attention early in the season. This could also be a test for the groups here as to where they can stack up nationally. While the top three in this comp could go out and win every weekend can the groups win when the choice isn't clear and obvious, when the choice is close? Do groups like Carmel and Franklin Central have the ability to have that slight edge over groups so that at comps like HOA when the choice isn't as easy they can come out on top?  

Damyre Perry - My most anticipated competition this year would have to be Johnston Showzam. The stakes were really high last year between all of the competing groups. The groups that go to this competition, such as Waukee Northwest Eos and Urbandale Studio, are normally the best around. It's good to see all of these high-level teams battle for the crown. It falls towards the beginning of the season, so groups already have such good momentum going. Last year, Eos took home the Grand Champion trophy, and for them to only be in their 3rd year of competition, I see great things happening for them at this competition. Urbandale and the other teams going - Prairie Ambassadors, Norwalk Sound Revolution, and Cedar Rapids Kennedy Happiness Inc. - definitely will give them a run for their money and should not be ruled out.

Adam Bedel - I think you’d have a difficult time finding a more contentious Saturday this season than March the 9th - Wheaton Warrenville South’s Choral Classic. It’s been all the buzz on show choir forums and for good reason: a Los Al and Center Grove matchup, accompanied by big names like Zionsville, Mitchell, Mt. Zion, Broken Arrow, and Lincoln Southwest, just to name a few. This competition is of course hosted by the fabulous Classics and Esprit and is a Midwest battleground unalike any other this winter!

Sleeper Competition:

William Soquet - Cosby’s lineup dropped pretty much out of the blue for their Titan Tournament of Choirs, but boy, did it impress. For a competition in only its second year from a smaller scene (only six competitions in Virginia this year), there is a lot to digest. 19 groups from eight states, including John Burroughs from California, Troy Buchanan from Missouri, and Chesterton from Indiana. Cosby does do finals, unlike some other Virginia competitions, so we will get to see Burroughs v. Buchanan matchup that was barely missed at Los Alamitos in 2019.

Simon Zimmerman - I haven’t seen a lot of talk about this year’s Chesterton Trojan Classic, which is a shame, because so far the lineup is set to feature Carmel and Marysville, and if rumors are true Brandon will also be making the trip up from Mississippi. These three groups are some of the best from their respective regions, and if all three do come this would be a South-North showdown worth watching.

Jim Patton- ISSMA state has been one of the most controversial competitions in the Indiana circuit with schools like Carmel, Center Grove, and Zionsville consistently not attending the State title race. Now Franklin Central, the winner of the last two years, taking a year away from the comp begs the question 'who will be the best of the rest?' Usually, I would assume it would swing back to North Central, but State is not on their calendar, so NC may also not attend. So who takes over what is, without a doubt, a prestigious comp? Who will come out and take over a large field and make their case to become a part of the Power 5? Will it be Fishers, Plainfield, or Avon? Could someone come out of the woodwork and take over that no one sees coming? This comp, for the first time in a long time, is wide open, and I am for sure interested to see who takes hold of the opening. 

Owen Miller - I think a competition that could fly under the radar is the John Hersey Chicagoland Showcase.  This competition features Bloomington Kennedy, Chesterton, and Wheaton North, who all had fantastic seasons last year. This competition is towards the end of the season, so we can expect that all of these groups will be bringing their “A” game. I can’t wait to see who ends up on top.

Damyre Perry - Des Moines Christian Illumination snuck under the radar for a competition in the first weekend of the season. A lot of fun and exciting teams who normally don’t get the recognition they deserve come here. This competition really gives those underdogs that chance to thrive in a spotlighted environment. Can’t wait to see how this competition turns out!

Most Competitive Region:

William Soquet - This is just such a tough one, because it’s hard to bet against Indiana and Ohio, but I feel pretty comfortable taking Iowa here. Ankeny Centennial, who was undeniably on the top of the pile before the pandemic in that state, has now yielded to a slew of groups, including Linn-Mar, Johnston, and upstart Waukee Northwest. That’s not even counting Prairie, Valley, any of the Cedar Rapids proper schools, the original Ankeny, or Davenport Central. Plus, Iowa’s small-school circuit is one of the best in the nation, bringing depth from top to bottom.

Nathan Ensley - While Iowa’s circuit is rapidly improving, it is no match for the immense depth of the Indiana circuit, specifically the Indianapolis area. There is a reason Indianapolis schools rarely achieve a perfect season, and that is because of the intense competition each week. The likes of Carmel, Center Grove, and Franklin Central are nationally known for good reason! 

Simon Zimmerman - I don’t think I could justify giving it to any state that’s not Iowa or Indiana. Both have excellent groups at all levels, from the large groups that can dominate national competitions (including Linn Mar and Johnston for Iowa and Carmel and Center Grove for Indiana) to the small groups that manage to make waves throughout the season. Both states did well in competitions against other regions in 2023 (Indiana groups won Heart Of America Nashville and Orlando and an Iowa group won Show Choir Nationals), and with such similar depth and records, it’s incredibly difficult to pick one over the other. 

Jim Patton- Indiana will remain the top dog in this category, moreso Indianapolis than Indiana. While circuits nationwide will have great competition, Ohio has Findley, Loveland, and Ross, Alabama has Homewood, Mississippi has Attache and Brandon, California has Powerhouse, Burbank and Los Alamitos, and Iowa has Linn-Mar and Johnston. Each one of these states has one or two unique groups who fight it out. Indianapolis has 4-5 that would be in this conversation for each state, competing week in and week out. Indiana groups do tend to stay in their area, partially because if they want to compete against the best, they don't have to leave and can just offer up their competition to anyone who wants to come and fight it out. When they do leave, they have a history of proving their merit versus some of the best groups in the country. When it comes to competition, the groups just tend to fight it out and beat each other up. I mean hey, iron sharpens iron, because in this circuit you have to adapt or someone will make that improvement.  

Damyre Perry - Personally, I would have to say Iowa or Indiana. While some of the best groups in the country come from Iowa, Indiana is known for super high-level shows and some of the toughest competitions of the show choir world. Both of these regions have so much talent and could easily take the win in the 'most competitive region' contest.

Breakout Group:

William Soquet - It’s always hard to pick the next big thing before it happens, right? Chesterton, Wheaton North and Gretna all snuck up on me last season. A group that appears poised to reclaim their spot as a regional titan this year is Totino-Grace. There’s been turnover at a few programs in Minnesota this year, and Philip Brown has retained his entire creative team for Company of Singers. If they take a step up and a couple programs take a step back, TG will open a lot of eyes beyond Minnesota this year.

Simon Zimmerman - Grove City for sure. They have been steadily improving since the pandemic, culminating in a 2023 season where they never placed outside the top 3, took home a win at Capital, and beat many groups at a similar level (including Olentangy, Solon, and Marion Harding) with the only groups to beat them having been Piqua, Ross, and Fairfield. They’ve already got a start on the 2024 season with a win at Ada (where they beat Piqua), and if they continue to improve they very well could take the next step to be Ohio’s breakout group of the season. 

Jim Patton- Fishers Sound is going to take a big step forward. I know picking a single-gendered group here will be a bit of a strange sight, but in general, they can find the magic they found again in 2022 and take that circuit by storm. They have remained an imposing group every year, but I would bet on them to step forward to become something special and even have a chance to run the table going into 2024. 

Damyre Perry - My breakout group this season is definitely Bloomington Kennedy. After their performance last year, I couldn't stop rewatching videos of them. They make the story sets really come to life, and it's always enjoyable to watch. Some previous sets include Hocus Pocus in 2022 and The Grinch in 2020. They won three times back-to-back-to-back last season, and I'm expecting it to be very similar again this season. Their consistent excellence and captivating performances set a high standard for the competition.

Adam Bedel - I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I’d anticipate some growth in Naperville North’s program in the upcoming season. They’ve been on an upward trajectory, and welcomed a new director in Tess Tazioli this year. Most recently, she’s directed Fishers Sound, a womens group from the north side of Indianapolis, which has innovated in the realm of themed show choir and seen great success from the judging panel. I think that we’ll see them begin to emerge as a titan in the Chicagoland circuit this upcoming season and take on a completely new identity. 

Group to Keep your Eye on:

William Soquet - John F. Kennedy Executive Order bumped up to Advanced Mixed I in California last year purely because they had so many groups that there was no other place for the top ensemble to go. While they did lose to each of California’s “Big Three” at various points during the season, they beat everyone else they faced in division, including Brea Olinda, Glendora and Katella. It seems like someone tries to do this every couple of years, but this year, JFK could be the long-awaited threat to the Big Three that Brea, Carlsbad and others have unsuccessfully tried to become in the past decade.

Simon Zimmerman - Ross Legacy had a breakout season last year, beating all manner of major Ohio and West Virginia groups (including Marysville, Hurricane, and Loveland) and earning four Grand Championship awards. However, since the end of the 2023 season, longtime director Sterling Finkbine stepped down and the entire choreography team was replaced. Their new team, consisting of directors Hallie Thompson and David Eschenbrenner with choreographers Randy Sage, Brooke Smolder, and Chantz Gould, looks great, and so I am interested to see how the transition has impacted Ross in both the product they produce and their competitive success. 

Jim Patton- Franklin Central F.C. Singers is a group to watch to see whether they can take on and defeat Carmel week in and week out. Can they take that step forward and even out with Carmel or will they stay at number two? They jumped Center Grove last year, so if they can keep that consistent winning, then that alone will be a win, but I am interested if they can go for even more this year. They can do a lot this year to prove that, but I am excited to see what they can do as a group. 

Damyre Perry - I'm going to keep my eyes on Waukee Northwest Eos. Despite being only in their third year of competition, they are remarkably strong and well-rounded, both in choreography and vocals. They're making their mark in the show choir world, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them come out on top this season. Their dedication and talent are truly impressive, showcasing a promising future for this dynamic group.

Adam Bedel - This year, I am definitely keeping my eye on Lafayette Jefferson’s First Edition. With Mark Myers taking the helm of the operation this year and Jeff Jordan joining the team as well, this program is one to watch! This fall, I attended their concert which featured some of the best concert choir I’ve heard this early in the year, as well as an energetic group hungry for some attention from the fierce Indiana circuit. 

Choir you are Excited to see:

William Soquet - Mark Myers lit the world on fire at Waubonsie Valley from 2006 to 2015 and remains the last director to beat Clinton Attache. He took a year off to get a master’s and didn’t come back to competitive show choir for a while after that, taking positions at UCLA and the Uniting Voices Chicago choir. After two years at Esperanza in California, he’s back in the Midwest, taking over Lafayette Jefferson. Under Eric Van Cleave, Jeff was one of the top handful of groups in the nation in the 1990s. Mark Myers has been on top of the country in the past, and so has the group - can he bring First Edition back to that level?

Simon Zimmerman - So many, it’s almost impossible to pick one. For now, I’ll say Hurricane Red Hot - I really enjoyed their Adam and Eve show last year, and knowing that Hurricane always picks creative themes I’m excited to see what they come up with this year. Nationally, I’m excited to see the big Iowa and Indiana groups debut their shows this year, because those groups always put out excellent products. I’m also excited for groups like Westside and Brandon that always pick really good themes, because it’s always fun to see really creatively themed shows. 

Owen Miller - Mitchell Friend de Coup is celebrating their 40th anniversary of being a group this year and I cannot wait to see what fun theme they put together this year.  I got the pleasure of seeing them at Wheaton Warrenville South a few years ago and they were incredible. With them coming back to the Choral Classic, I will be able to see them once more, and I am so excited to see what kind of theme they come up with this year.  Mitchell’s show design is so incredible every single year and their vocals will knock your socks off, not to mention the classic Stephen Todd choreography.  I can’t wait to see this group again in March.

Damyre Perry - I'm excited to see Tomah Limited Edition this competition season. Their sets are always so joyful and entertaining to watch, and you will always walk out with such a huge smile on your face. Tomah is rebuilding such a strong group after last season's Scooby-Doo set! I'm eager to witness the creativity and energy they bring to the stage in their upcoming performances.

Adam Bedel - I am looking forward to this year’s Iowa sets first and foremost. The emergence of Waukee Northwest’s program in Eos over the past couple of years had been astounding, and they put on one of my very favorite shows of last year. Additionally, I always enjoy seeing the thematic prowess of Linn-Marr, Ankeny Centennial, and Urbandale light up the stage with fun stories and beautifully-executed show choir. 

Most Used Theme:

William Soquet - I think we’re still a little close to the pandemic for all of the inevitable shows taking a retrospective look at the pandemic. Something that has tangentially taken its place, in my opinion, are shows centering around darkness. There were a fair number of shows that centered around this last year and while I don’t expect a ton of nationally-recognized groups to do it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fair number of mid- and lower-tier groups do darkness-centered shows this year.

Simon Zimmerman - With the advent of ChatGPT and the rise of artificial intelligence, as well as the fact that technology and/or social media related issues are almost always in the news these days, I’m expecting a fair amount of technology themed shows. I don’t know whether these would be more like Marysville 2019, which examined the effects of technology with a more serious tone, or Sissonville 2023, which focused on social media with a more comedic tone. Either way, I’m excited to see how many groups do shows themed around technology, as well as what they do with the theme. 

Jim Patton- I see the rise in musical shows continuing to take hold in the high-level competition scene. So I see a continuing theme based around musicals; they make easy and proven numbers that offer an easy option for arrangers. Why would you not just take what already exists and make it your own? I expect these shows to continue to gain prominence throughout national circuits.   

Owen Miller - A recurring theme every single year is overcoming obstacles, and I think this year will be no different.  The theme is just such an easy theme to do, which is why so many groups use it.  Not to mention that we just got out of a pandemic not too long ago, making it that much more relevant of a theme to use. You could argue that overcoming obstacles is way too overused, but I guarantee groups will still heavily lean on that as their theme this season. 

Damyre Perry - A set I see used a lot is the "Evil to Good" motif. Many choirs around the Minnesota/Wisconsin region tend to lean towards a set like this. It’s always creative and unique in some way but always follows that motif of finding yourself. I reckon this set will stick around in the show choir world for many, many, many more years. It just has that timeless vibe, you know?

Ethan Parker - I truly believe Barbies and Kens will be everywhere this season. After the massive movie release this past summer, I can see many single-gender groups and even mixed groups going the Barbie route, and how can you blame them? The concept is not new, but with a revamped soundtrack, versatility of the theme, and Barbie fever running at an all-time high expect to see this theme on a stage near you.

Adam Bedel - While it isn’t a specific theme, I also think we’re going to see a trend of dark-themed shows this year across the board: heavy drama, theatrical makeup, and costumes straight out of a dystopian movies.

Most Used Song/Arrangement:

William Soquet - Last year’s “Backstage Romance” medley from Moulin Rouge was wildly popular and I expect no changes this year - I’ve already seen one group where it is included on their set list. Honorable mention goes to perennial favorite “Wings” by Little Mix, which I can seemingly never escape.

Simon Zimmerman - These past few seasons, it’s seemed almost obligatory for some group to do Fergie’s “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” from The Great Gatsby, whether it’s for a New Year’s Eve or just general party themed show, and I’m expecting that trend to continue this year. Todrick Hall’s “Magic Happens” has also been popular among show choirs since its 2020 release, a trend which I expect to continue, and after Big Time Rush’s “Elevate” was performed by multiple major groups across the country in 2023 I expect that song to be popular as well.  

Jim Patton- I think popular selections will come from Olivia Rodrigo's album Guts. specifically, I think a typical ballad will come from the song "Lacy and Logical". Overall the album contains a lot for arrangers and directors to work with and get unforgettable moments. This should be exciting ballad selections, paired with "What Was I Made For" by Billie Eilish from the Barbie movie. 

Owen Miller - With how much of a hit the Barbie movie was this year, I think “Dance The Night” by Dua Lipa will be heavily used in shows this year.  The song fits everything that show choir is, and it could fit into a large percentage of themes because of how universal the song could be.  Don’t be shocked if you hear “Dance The Night” at every competition you go to in 2024.

Damyre Perry - I think a song arrangement we'll hear a lot will be from the song "What Was I Made For" by Billie Eilish. This song will probably be used as a ballad; it's so soft and pretty. With the Barbie movie being a big hit over the summer, I reckon directors will try to use this song before it gets super overused, like "Let's Get Loud" from Jennifer Lopez. Plus, the lyrics and Billie Eilish's style could make for some really cool performances.

A Storyline to Follow:

William Soquet - Whether it was Waukee Northwest, Sioux Falls Jefferson or Elkhorn North, there have been a number of high-profile debuts from suburban expansion schools the past few years. Gretna East, tucked in the southwest side of the Omaha metro area, is primed to be this year’s hot debut. The mother school, Gretna, exploded for a phenomenal season in 2023. How much of that success will transfer to East? Nobody knows, but I would bet a fair amount.

Nathan Ensley - On the topic of debuts, I’m excited to see Westfield’s show choir debut with their mixed group, Illumination. Westfield’s student population of 2500, makes it comparable to other top Indianapolis groups, Zionsville and Brownsburg. Additionally, Westfield is bringing in Ellie Jordan, who has been one of the Carmel Accent’s choreographers for the last six years. Westfield will have its hands full, however, as its debut will be at Franklin Central, where it will face a stacked lineup featuring Center Grove, Carmel, Fishers, and Brownsburg.

Simon Zimmerman - One of the biggest Ohio storylines these past few seasons has been Fairfield after their director change in 2021. While they didn’t quite replicate their past competitive successes in 2022, they moved a step in the right direction in 2023, and so I’ll be interested to see how they continue to grow and develop as a group in 2024. On the topic of debuts (or more accurately, returns), Ripley High School from West Virginia is restarting their show choir Phoenix Blue which has been dormant since 2004. With a student population above that of small group powerhouses Nitro and Winfield and close to that of Hurricane, Ripley could potentially be the next big thing in West Virginia show choir. 

Jim Patton- Where do the national groups end up? Very few groups out there can consider themselves nationally competitive groups. You must be at the top of your circuit and end up at the proper competition in the correct year. Where these groups end up is genuinely a fantastic storyline each year. No one wins easily, and even perennial powerhouses must work extremely hard each year to keep their pedigree. How will Show Choir Nationals stack up compared to last year? Do Indiana and Iowa continue to hold onto national comps? Will the Southern or California groups come out with something to prove? Though they don't happen until the end of the season, I genuinely love the build toward the clashes of titans that each circuit gets to see.  

Damyre Perry - I am excited to follow Bemidji Vocalmotive and St. Francis Bridge Street Singers this season, as both of them have just lost their directors. Both of these Minnesota schools really have what it takes to build their name up in the industry. Vocalmotive has always been one of the best show choirs in the Gopher State, and I'm sure new directors Gunnar Aas and Jess Binstick will continue to live up to that legacy. Bridge Street Singers had huge success last year with their set, and while former director Josiah Teschlow may have left, Bridge Street is just getting started. I cannot wait to see what these groups have in store. The transition to new leadership brings an exciting element of change, and I'm eager to witness their fresh approach to performances.

Ethan Parker - What will be Glenwood (Illinois) identity be this season? Glenwood Titan Fever, under the leadership of the Gemar family, was transformed from a rookie choir to a national force, with vocals and choreography that wowed the nation. With Heath Gemar out as Glenwood's choreographer, this is the first time since the groups inception in 2007 that a Gemar won't be holding a top leadership position for "Titan Fever". Glenwood is now entering its fifth season under the helm of veteran director Nick Brockamp and are adding well-known choreographer Ben Eklund into the mix. With the changes to Titan Fever and it being the inaugural season of Titan Flame (their new high school intermediate group), the new era in Glenwood is one to keep your eye on this season.

Want to See More of:

William Soquet - Groups that run the tough ringer for the entire season. So often, you have groups that can have a great season in all tough competitions that may have a couple seconds or thirds but there are a couple pushover competitions in there that gets first places, but the group doesn’t really show what it’s capable of. Iron sharpens iron, and having a consistently challenging competition season really separates the groups who are regionally recognized from the groups who are nationally recognized.

Simon Zimmerman - I’d like to see more screens as part of show design. Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I do think screens aid show design with their versatility, and they do seem to be becoming accessible to smaller groups (as evidenced by Buckeye Valley using them in their 2023 show). Hopefully, this means that more groups can use this technology to aid their show design, leading to more creative shows. 

Jim Patton- Old school show choir. I would love to see a resurgence of groups that resemble pre-COVID era groups that killed nationally. These shows gave way to more theatrical shows that display a different side of the show choir, not a wrong side, but a different side. I would love to see a resurgence of groups that go out there with some swagger and don't have a theatrical or story backbone, instead of a bit more free-flowing theme where the arranger and choreographer really have to show what they're made of. It’s a gamble, but when it hits, this style can produce shows for the ages. 

Damyre Perry - I'd love to see some cool tech stuff added to show choir, you know? Like sound effects, fancy lighting, or just something visually awesome that adds to the whole set. It could totally take the performances to a whole new level and make them even more fun. Exploring these techy touches could give show choir a modern twist that keeps things exciting for everyone involved.

Ethan Parker - This show choir season, I would love to see more groups incorporate Allen Stone and Stephen Day music into their arrangements. Wither it is a ballad or a closer, their music is very versatile and I think many groups should be taking advantage of the pocket they create. Day's songs such as "If You Were the Rain," "On Top of the World," and "Dancing in the Street." Stones songs such as "Consider Me," " "Look At Me," "Say So," "Unaware," "Loose," "Sunny Days," "Taste of You," "Warriors," and many many more should be in show sets this season.

Adam Bedel - I would love to see the usage of physical sets in shows like the way that we saw in Waukee Northwest Eos’ show last year, “The Unbroken Circle”. For groups with larger budgets or well-built networks of parent volunteers, this is a great way to spice up the visuals of any themed show.

A Wild Take/Prediction:

William Soquet - Nobody will go undefeated. There were a couple groups last year that accomplished the feat, but show choir is evolving at such a breakneck pace that I don’t think it will be tenable this year to do that. This goes in tandem with me wanting more great groups to match up against each other more often, but even if it’s a lackluster year with that, I don’t think anyone will go undefeated. This does include the California Big Three!

Simon Zimmerman - I think this might be the year someone beats Clinton… for a caption award. While I’m not quite convinced that any groups against which Clinton will be competing have what it takes to fully beat them, I can see Brandon or one of the groups at Heart Of America Orlando giving Clinton a challenge in Vocals or Show Design (if that’s considered a major caption). I don’t know who or what exactly but I think this will be the year Clinton loses a major caption.

Jim Patton- No Indiana group wins against another top 5 group more than once. That means if Carmel wins at Pike, Franklin Central will beat them later in the year. If Center Grove wins Brownsburg, Carmel will get them at FC. North Central and FC will be tight at Best of the Midwest, a very NC-friendly competition. Zionsville will win one somewhere along the way against these groups. Each one of these groups will trade with each other over the season and leave these groups not as highly ranked nationally but remain just as deadly. It will seem like a genuine cluster all around, but it will be entertaining. 

Adam Bedel - I think that we will see a decline in the prominence of intrastate organizations like ISSMA in the world of show choir and a rise in popularity for organizations like HOA and FAME. While this moreso applies to the Indiana Circuit immediately, I believe that this could have a ripple effect on the nature of these interstate competitions and show choir as a whole. 

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